The Evolution of Drunk Driving: Super Drunk Law
Recently, a Michigan elementary school principal was arrested with charges of Super Drunk Driving. Passed in 2010, the new ‘Super Drunk’ law has created harsher penalties for those driving with a BAC of .17% or higher.
In comparison to a regular drunk driving charge, those convicted of being “super drunk drivers” can face up to 180 days in jail, are required to complete an alcohol treatment program, pay up to $700 in fines and are not allowed to drive for 45 days following the incident. On top of all of that, their driving is further restricted for 320 days with the implementation of an ignition interlock device that prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on the breath.
While these penalties may seem harsh, alcohol-related traffic accidents account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Each year, tens of thousands of people are killed in such crashes – despite their preventability.
In recent years, Michigan has seen a fall in the rates of alcohol-related arrests; however, it is hard to say whether this trend is a direct result of the new laws and associated penalties or the police force’s loss in manpower due to budget cuts. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning has stated that by advertising and warning the public about the dangers and costs of drunk driving, people are thinking twice before getting behind the wheel while drunk.